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A sure-fire bad idea for denim: Dry Cleaner Alterations Near Me

Williamsburg Garment Company, a specialist in denim tailoring, performed expert chain stitch hemming with bar tacking on a pair of Gustin jeans.

By Maurice Malone  Published May 12, 2023

Looking for a local dry cleaner that offers alterations or tailoring to work on your denim clothing is a bad idea. Using a dry cleaner versus a denim tailoring specialist for alterations can result in very different levels of work quality.

Those who care about their denim enough to conduct a little research realize that jeans are not hemmed like other pants. The great majority of even the best-quality jeans feature chain-stitched hems. The machine that produces this stitching is not likely to be found at your neighborhood dry cleaners or other types of ordinary tailoring establishments. One of the reasons the sewing hack, known as the "original hem," came about was because of the lack of power and capacity to sew jeans with the proper sewing machines.

As a denim tailoring specialist, we have extensive experience and expertise in working specifically with denim fabrics. We understand the unique characteristics of denim and have specialized techniques for altering denim garments. On the other hand, dry cleaners may offer alterations as a service but may not have the same level of specialization or knowledge about denim.

Let's explore the striking difference between a standard dry cleaner's hemming alteration and the meticulous craftsmanship of our chainstitch hemming with bar tacking. In the photo below, we show a pair of Gustin jeans that have been altered by a standard dry cleaner. This pair of jeans came to us, along with many others, to have the poor sewing by another tailor corrected.

A prime example of poor jeans hemming occurred as a result of searching for dry cleaner alterations near me rather than seeking a denim tailoring specialist.

Close inspection will reveal flaws that fall short of the jean's original production standard. The hemming, done on a simple sewing machine with lockstitching, lacks Gustin's trademark red-colored chain stitching. The thread is thin and frail, and it does not match the original golden brown top stitch color. Instead, navy blue thread was used to sew the jeans, giving them a mismatched appearance. Furthermore, the absence of the red bar tack, a distinguishing feature of Gustin jeans, indicates the dry cleaner's equipment limits.

It's also evident from the hem size that the tailor or seamstress doesn't recognize the difference between the hem width of pants and jeans. The hem on these jeans was double the size that it should have been.

Check out our work after we resurrected these Gustin jeans. The jeans have been returned to the look and sewing style of their original hem as sewn by the factory.

Close-up of the revived original hem style on a pair of Gustin jeans with chain stitching and bar tacking, an alterations service provided by Williamsburg Garment Company.

We take great pleasure at Williamsburg Garment Company in our ability to boost your denim style through our unrivaled tailoring expertise. Our skilled artisans have a thorough understanding of denim and other fabrics thanks to years of working exclusively under designer Maurice Malone. With this specific understanding, we can easily get your inseam length perfectly fitted. You can come in (no appointments necessary) for in-person assistance from our knowledgeable team. Alternatively, you can read some of our instructive articles that detail how to properly mark or measure your pair of jeans or pants before sending them in by way of courier service.

We provide three levels of turnaround time for hemming services. While you wait rush service takes about 15 to 20 minutes for one or two pairs of jeans and slightly longer for more. We also provide next-day rush service, which is popular with out-of-state customers that require short turnaround times. Finally, our regular hemming service time spans between five and seven days.